The Mingary Castle restoration blog was written by Jon Haylett, who lives in the local village of Kilchoan. Now that restoration is almost complete Holly and Chris Bull will take over to report on bringing the Castle back to life.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

First Building Work Starts

Up to now, the work on site at Mingary Castle has been surveying, stabilising the bedrock, mapping and recording, archaeological investigations and excavations, and cleaning and preparing the walls.  Now a corner has been turned as, for the first time, builders Ashley Thompson start on the rebuilding of the structure.

This view looks down from high on the scaffolding of the north curtain wall into the eastern end of the moat, where the foundations for the biomass boiler are going in.

At the far end there will be a large hopper into which wood chippings from the extensive coniferous plantations on the Ardnamurchan Estate will be poured.  These come through a new facility on the Estate which chips the logs, and then dries the material - as one would expect, using wood chip heaters.   From the hopper, the chips pass through to a boiler, the heat from which will provide both the central heating and hot water for the castle apartments.

This is not an easy site to work on.  Although drainage has now been hugely improved - the moat, as it was designed to, flooded regularly - getting the concrete down into it has been a major undertaking.

This, the latest picture, shows the slab almost complete.  The pipes from the boiler pass in to the castle via the hole at the base of the north curtain wall.  This used to allow water from the moat to fill the cistern which was used as a well.  The pipes then go up the well into the building itself.

The boiler has been a high priority because of the need to dry out the walls in the castle before they can be plastered.  As soon as it's finished, it'll be commissioned, which means that J-P's men will be nice and warm as they work.

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